TZL 1407 (web)




Zweig Group is thrilled to bring two powerhouse speakers to the 2021 ElevateAEC Conference & ElevateHER Symposium. Rose McClure and Yiselle Santos Rivera have steered the conversation about women in the industry in the most constructive way, and helped put DEI discussions front and center in the board rooms of AEC firms of all sizes all across the country. The ripple effect that each of them has created is immeasurable, and will continue to impact us all in meaningful ways.

YISELLE SANTOS RIVERA, MEDICAL PLANNER & GLOBAL DIRECTOR OF JUSTICE, EQUITY, DIVERSITY & INCLUSION, HKS Yiselle thrives on building equitable practices, empowering the next generation of leaders, and creating inclusive platforms for engagement. She serves on the AIA National Board and is the founder of WIELD (We Inspire Emerging Leaders in Design), a storytelling event that provides opportunities for emerging leaders to engage in the equity, diversity, and inclusion conversation by promoting visibility, awareness, and sponsorship. ROSE MCCLURE, SENIOR CONSULTING ENGINEER, SIMPSON GUMPERTZ & HEGER, INC. She is an energetic structural engineer, whose passion for the built environment drives her everyday interactions with other design professionals. Rose is the co-founder and past chair of the NCSEA Structural Engineering Engagement and Equity Committee, where she works to improve engagement, retention, diversity, and inclusion within the profession.

❚ ❚ Workplace culture ❚ ❚ Leadership

ROUTE DEI: Mickey Garcia, Lisa Huddleston, Rob Matthews, Will Schnier, Ana Collins (September 21, 2021, 1 p.m. CST) ❚ ❚ ROUTE DEI is a road map that paves the way for companies to be more diverse, equitable, and inclusive in their workplaces. It identifies key criteria and best practices for assessing, adapting, delivering, and measuring through a points-based index on quantitative and qualitative levels. ROUTE DEI also becomes the vehicle by which a firm can submit to be recognized and awarded Zweig Group’s ROUTE DEI award. This award showcases a firm’s progress and success in becoming a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization, as measured by the ROUTE DEI road map. ❚ ❚ The established survey is one deliverable that will act as a roadmap and allow firms to assess, adapt, deliver, and measure key criteria for their DEI program. The survey serves as the vehicle to measure a firm’s performance for itself and against its competitors for a DEI award. ❚ ❚ The DEI award is another deliverable used to celebrate the efforts of firms that intentionally address DEI issues/challenges. The positive results for a participating firm (and hopefully the broader AEC industry) are to strengthen recruiting, retention, and overall performance. The coupled road map and award can catalyze long-overdue changes to the entire industry. SHE IS WELCOME HERE: Heather Calvert, Kaley Konecny, Katie Goodman, Jayna Duke, Julie Passalacqua (October 5, 2021, 1 p.m. CST) ❚ ❚ While the AEC industry struggles with an even representation of men and women at all levels, there is an even greater discrepancy between them at leadership levels. This occurs especially often to those who have been in the industry for 10-15 years, and they are not only leaving their firms, but the AEC industry as a whole. This leak in the career pipeline creates a deficiency of talent, a lack of innovation, and few mentors for younger women looking for role models in the industry. While there are many reasons women may choose to leave, at least one third of women leave the AEC industry because the culture in their firms is deemed unsupportive and unsustainable. Further, many firms are unaware of the toxicity of their cultures and the ways in which their structures and policies drive women away. ❚ ❚ This group seeks to do the following: ❚ ❚ Build a diagnostic tool that will help firm leaders evaluate their diversity and inclusion “IQ,” focusing on demographics of the firm, policies and procedures, career development and training, diversity and inclusion education, and micro-aggression awareness. ❚ ❚ Create a firm-wide survey to broaden leadership’s perspective, point out blind spots, and ultimately create an award for best performing firms. ❚ ❚ Build a diagnostic tool that can be included as part of a pre-M&A package at the beginning of discussions to determine cultural fit. ❚ ❚ Create a set of resources for firm leaders to research and investigate diversity and inclusion in their firms. The ElevateHER Symposium will take place within the Virtual ElevateAEC Conference. Register for this free event and gain access to the ElevateHER Symposium and other great learning sessions! Click here for more details. CHRISTINA ZWEIG NIEHUES is Zweig Group’s director of research and e-commerce. She can be reached at


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